Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Sociology Optional Preparation Guide

Hi,

Many of you asked about my approach for my optional subject of sociology. So, I am writing this post.

Most of us are generally familiar with the topics which are part of syllabus (except the thinkers part), so this subject is relatively familiar to every aspirant with this optional. However, due to very this fact, some people become complacent and take many topics taken for granted. You should try to read thoroughly, but should never overlook the core concepts (for example, while studying caste - you should not overlook the very basic definition and perspectives on caste. You should ask yourself - What is caste? How it has changed historically? What is the theoretical framework lying beneath it? Is that framework accepted as it is by various social thinkers? If not, how and why?)

Then, the question comes - What to read? To this question, I would suggest following material - 
  1. New NCERTs on sociology - According to me, new NCERTs are much well designed than the older ones. They also have less factual errors and have a better flow. They also take a lot of examples from the day to day life which can be put in the answers. Try to read them again and again during various phases of your optional preparation. (Old NCERTs were more suitable for the older syllabus and hence may not be as useful, but if you have a hell lot of time, you may read them as well).
  2. Sociology: (Haralambos and Heald) (the one with reddish cover and not so thick) - For the beginners it is a good book as you get familiar with the core concepts and some landmark studies in the field of sociality. I have never read the thicker one, but read this book (available on flipkart etc, click here). It is a bit outdated in terms of the data it uses as it has not been revised since long. But the case studies it has used are classical ones and are still referred by the social scientists and students alike. Try to match the topics of syllabus and read selectively. Its writing style is extremely lucid and most of the concepts are explained very well.
  3. Sociology (Anthony Giddens) - While Haralambos gives you a conceptual framework, Giddens Sociology is more about the contemporary perspectives in sociology. It gives a fresh and novel perspectives through novel examples and illustrations. It helps you in developing a unique sociological perspective.
  4. Sociology: Themes and Perspectives (Haralambos an Holborn) (Blue Cover) - This is a very useful and comprehensive book for paper 1. But it is about heavier one with more than 1000 pages. However, it is a very updated one and covers almost all aspects of syllabus. Following topics: Basic Theoritical Perspectives, Aging, Research Methods, Stratification and Inequality, Gender, Poverty and Exclusion, Religion, Family, Power and Politics, Education etc are covered very well. If you have patience too read, it is an extremely useful book.
  5. Sociology Dictionary (Penguin) - Dictionaries are helpful because, they provide the fundamental definitions of the topics of syllabus. They also carry reference to the works of important social thinkers and their works also. This dictionary is relatively simple in its language than the Oxford ones. You should read the dictionary thoroughly from first to last page and note down those terms and topics which are either part of syllabus (directly or indirectly) or have appeared in previous years' exams. Some case studies may also be found here. 
  6. IGNOU Notes (Only graduation level, not post graduation) - They carry more or less the whole syllabus. They are especially useful for the Paper Two as one generally doesn't find the topics anywhere else and that too compiled in one source. 
  7. Other supplementary sources - Apart from these, for specific topics, you may refer to some other books as well. For example, for Mead (you may refer the Sociology book by Ritzer), for Indian thinkers, you may refer a book by B K Nagala and so on.
Finally, as I always say, the exam is not only about reading books, but also about managing what you have read. Try to consolidate what you have read at a single place as it is easier to revise that during exam. Making your own notes also serves as a kind of writing practice and boosts your confidence as well.

From the day one, you should keep in mind that since the subject is about society and its relationship with individuals, so, you should be very keen observer of it. Whether there is some news article (say on marital trends, caste, family, demography, tribes, polity, socio-economic indicators of development and so on), some development in your neighborhood or even a personal observation, you should try to think over these and note down a thing or two. Such illustrations about society and its working will come handy in form of examples while attempting the questions in the mains paper and will definitely fetch you some extra marks.

If you have any suggestions or queries regarding sociology optional, please comment beneath this post.

Best of luck!
Nitin Sangwan

227 comments:

  1. Bro can u share the entire paper 1 sociology notes.... pls send to deepak8286@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. As I have mentioned in the post, that I dont have very organised notes. Whatever areas were well organised are shared here. Further, whatever book lists and sources I have mentioned above are sufficient for your prep. Just read them. I would like to help if you have difficulty regarding a particular topic, in that case please write back.

      Delete
    2. brother, thank you!!! no words except these to pay my gratitude

      Delete
    3. brother, thank you!!! no words except these to pay my gratitude

      Delete
    4. thank u nitin
      ..will you share 2017 current affairs also???

      Delete
    5. No, I won't e making 2017 notes.

      Delete
  2. Bro can u share the entire paper 1 sociology notes.... pls send to deepak8286@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Please wait for a few months. I am trying to complete them.

      Delete
    2. Sir, Are you serious about compiling the entire notes?

      Delete
    3. Hi Veeresh,

      Yes, I am. If not soft notes, may be a book.

      Delete
    4. Thanks Mr. Nitin. Very well done.

      Delete
    5. when will it be ready ....the book

      Delete
  3. Thank you very much for the insight nitin sir :)
    All the best fr ur career
    and plz do clarify our doubts,whenever you can.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Dear Nitin Sir,
    Congrats on your grand success! Wish great success on all your future endeavors.
    Sir, Could you please throw some light on what differently you did to inculcate current affairs in your sociology answers.
    Best regards,
    Prakash

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi,

      As I had mentioned in this post, be a bit observant about your surroundings and news. Write those things somewhere and go through them once before going for the exam. Whenever you attempt a question, just think about your experiences about that and write those as well.

      Delete
  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Sir,

    Can you please share your remaning notes on sociology. Although I am preparing my own notes, but it will help us to know other perspective also.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. As I have mentioned in the post, that I dont have very organised notes. Whatever areas were well organised are shared here. Further, whatever book lists and sources I have mentioned above are sufficient for your prep. Just read them. I would like to help if you have difficulty regarding a particular topic, in that case please write back.

      Further, take notes of any standard coaching institute for the rest of topic. They are easily available everywhere.

      Delete
  7. sir could you plz share your sociology notes ?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. As I have mentioned in the post, that I dont have very organised notes. Whatever areas were well organised are shared here. Further, whatever book lists and sources I have mentioned above are sufficient for your prep. Just read them. I would like to help if you have difficulty regarding a particular topic, in that case please write back.

      Delete
  8. Hello nitin,
    First of all congratulations on your success in this coveted exam.
    I have a specific doubt - did you read any particular books just for paper 2 ? Would you like to mention them ?
    As paper 2 is highly dynamic ..how should one go about the preparation for the same ?
    Thanks in Advance!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. IGNOU Notes, new NCERTS will be quite useful for Paper 2. It is agreed that it is a bit dynamic, but it is not very difficult. You have to read newspaper carefully to note down the relevant news items related to the syllabus. Further, it also tests your critical thinking and reasoning ability. You can sharpen that by a bit of self-practice.

      Nitin

      Delete
  9. Hello nitin,
    First of all congratulations on your success in this coveted exam.
    I have a specific doubt - did you read any particular books just for paper 2 ? Would you like to mention them ?
    As paper 2 is highly dynamic ..how should one go about the preparation for the same ?
    Thanks in Advance!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Priyanka,


      For paper 2, New NCERTs and IGNOU notes are sufficient. For thinkers part you may refer my notes and B K Nagla. Since paper 2 is dynamic and more like GS papers, you should keep an eye on current developments and changes (through newspapers etc). Be original in your ideas and thoughts to score more.

      Delete
  10. Sir,first of all , congrats!!

    Sir , i have started preparing for sociology a bit late. It would be helpful if you share some topic-specific case studies if you have made them from newspapers etc.

    Also , is reading harambos,giddens must? Or can i rely on coaching material and revise it again and again.
    I chose optional just last month.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Giridhar,

      I don't have such a compilation at one single place.

      Coaching probably will not cover each and everything. So, it will be better if you can go through some good text books as well.

      Delete
    2. Can i know your marks in sociology optional(paper1+paper2) in 2015?
      There are people saying that sociology is not performing well nowadays..what do you think of that

      Delete
    3. Can i know your marks in sociology optional(paper1+paper2) in 2015?
      There are people saying that sociology is not performing well nowadays..what do you think of that

      Delete
    4. My marks were 240+

      Every year some optional performs better than the others and some perform Below average as well. And you can never know how things will turn out when you will appear for Mains. So, listen to your mind and heart and chose an optional. Don't go by rumors.

      Delete
  11. congratulations for what you have achieved..Just wanted to ask that is it possible to cover sociology syllabus in 3 months with the above mentioned sources?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Rajiv,

      Yes it is possible. You just have to burn some extra midnight oil (given the fact that you have to study for GS as well).

      Nitin

      Delete
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  13. Dear Sir,

    Sir I want to know. Is coaching is necessary for sociology ? or self study is sufficient for it and did u take the coaching for sociology?


    Thank you
    Shashi

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Shashi,

      Coaching is not necessary for Sociology or for that matter for any topic though I took as I had no one to guide me initially. For GS I didn't as later I discovered that self preparation can also be done.

      Delete
  14. Sir,
    I want to know why have you selected sociology as an optional subject??As I am following your footsteps and guidance for the preparation please guide me how to select and what to select as an optional subject.

    Thank you

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi,

      Why I selected the optional cannot and should not be the reason behind your choices. Following footsteps is one thing, blindly doing so is the another. Try to discover your interests and inclination. The subject in which you feel most comfortable should be your choice and not what others have chosen.

      Delete
  15. Thank you sir !!! Kindly please keep on update and share your knowledge and notes..because in market so much frustrating resources are available jo pagal kr dene ke liye kaffi hai..we need your guidance in future sir...best of luck with wishes for great human being.


    Thank you

    Shashi Kant Prasad

    ReplyDelete
  16. sir,
    if i spend 4 to 5 hrs daily fr sociology optional..how long will it take to complete above mentioned books and sources..just a rough estimate..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Aria,

      It should take around 4-5 months.

      Delete
    2. Sir,
      Sociology- Anthony Giddens has only 2 overlapping topics with upsc syllabus. Should we read it for contemporary examples n understanding alone? Many ppl are suggesting haralambos n holborn ( big blue one ) coz it covers many upsc topics.. I haven't read either.what would u suggest sir

      Delete
    3. Hi Aria,

      You may not find the whole syllabi in any of the single book. Anthony Giddens give you some fresh perspective which you will not have with any other author. If you are planning for next year, you may read H&H as well. Reading more always helps. If you are preparing for this exam, never shy away from reading a lot.

      Best of luck!

      Delete
  17. are your thinkers notes enough for preparation or it required more supplement

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Firdous,

      They are more or less sufficient, but reading more is always helpful in clarifying the concepts.

      Delete
  18. hello sir,
    in theoretical strands in research methodology

    1. positivism
    2. non positivism-interpretation method
    3.anti-positivist-symbolic interactionism, phenomenology, ethnomethodology
    4. reflexive method-feminist,critcal and post modern theory
    5. qualitative and quantitative methods
    Sir, apart form these methodologies, is there any methodology still left in the list? + please correct me if m wrong about any methodology.
    thank you sir

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Shubham,

      Your list is quote comprehensive. In this list, there can be some sub-topics like Content Analysis, Participant Observation and so on. You may note down such methods as and when you come across them.

      PS: Can you please quote the source of the 4th point i.e. Reflexive Methods. And specifically - feminist, critical). And how these approaches qualify as research method?

      Delete
    2. Sir both critical and feminist methodology can be found in haralambos and holborn. feminist methodology is also given in ignou MA(MSO) material.

      Delete
  19. Sir can u please tell me in detail that what are the sub topics that need to be done in techniques of data collection

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Shubham,

      Techniques of data collection can be so many. Broadly they are qualitative and quantitative. Questionnaire, Surveys, Sampling, Content Analysis, Field Studies and so on. I hope you have an idea now.

      Delete
    2. Hi Shubham,

      Techniques of data collection can be so many. Broadly they are qualitative and quantitative. Questionnaire, Surveys, Sampling, Content Analysis, Field Studies and so on. I hope you have an idea now.

      Delete
    3. Questionnaire,sampling,surveys etc are quantitative methods but sir please can u explain about qualitative methods

      Delete
  20. Questionnaires are not quantitative only. Descriptive questionnaire, unstructured interviews, Participant Observation are examples if qualitative methods.Go through some previous papers also to know more such methods.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. OK sir thank you

      Delete
    2. Hello sir,
      In the unit research methods and analysis,there is a topic called variables.Sir can u pls tell that what needs to be done in this topic

      Delete
    3. Variables are mainly of two types - dependent and independent. This classification is taken from scientific research. Just Google it out.

      Delete
  21. Sir,which coaching did you took for sociology..?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Sandeep,

      It was a Chandigarh based institution.

      Delete
  22. Hi, is it necessary to join coaching for sociology can we do it self study,please give me some inputs for self studying sociology.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Sandeep,

      Yes it is possible to self study. Whatever I have suggested in this post is sufficient for self study.

      Delete
  23. sir congrts for ur grand success....and heartly wishes for ur bryt career..sir i have a one query that,i am a mechanical engineer and thrown out of the company being called as incompetent so i decided to prepare for upsc but sir last from 4 year i did not able to qualify pre even, sir shuld i quit and try private job somewhere or try this year again..i am a obc candidate and my current age is 30 sir..sir family still supporting me but even after lot of hadwok i could not able to fullfill the great expectation of my parents..can you suggest me...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi,

      I don't want to discourage you, but if you have not been able to make it in pre in 4 attempts, then you should have a re-look at your decision. I personally think that Civil Services is not everything. There are lot of other things in life. I would suggest you to move on and utilise the productive years of your life in other areas.

      Best of luck!

      Delete
  24. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  25. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  26. thankyou sir...wish u a grt and bryt future ahead....

    ReplyDelete
  27. Hello Sir,
    Congrats on your grand success. Sir I'm preparing sociology on my own without any coaching and your notes are quite helpful, could you suggest a source from where writing practice can be done for the optional.
    Thanks in advance.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi,

      For writing practice, I would suggest you to please refer last years' papers. You can write on your own. You can evaluate them on your own after a few days. There must be some online forums also where you can discuss the answers.

      Delete
  28. Sir I am hopeful of writing mains this year. Could you please guide me on how to approach paper 2 topics apart from thinkers.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Raunak,

      I would like to suggest that you read new NCERTs of class 11 and 12. They provide quite a few examples.

      Apart from that, try to note down recent data and cases from newspapers which might help you in topics like population, violence against women, development, planning and so on.

      Try to think on your own feet and use your observation power to enhance effectiveness of your answers.

      Delete
  29. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Thanks alot for sharing your knowledge and experience. I have completed NCERTs and reading IGNOU material now. Will it be a good idea to prepare sociology by myself or is it advisable to join some coaching ? Please guide.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Coaching is never a necessary thing. If you are able to understand books, coaching is not necessary at all. Remain confident about whatever you do.

      Delete
  31. Sir what is d difference between collective conscience and representation collective?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Varnika,

      Can you please clarify the context?

      I haven't come across he second term.

      Delete
  32. Hello sir
    I'm a beginner to sociology. Can I rely on your thinkers part of paper-1 completely?
    Thank you. God bless

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi,

      My thinkers notes are more or less sufficient. But for a second perspective, you may refer to a y standard text book.

      Delete
  33. Hello Sir,

    I am a working professional and am starting preparation for 2017 for sociology. I took it up after going through the syllabus and felt I wanted to study it and of course since it's about our society. I went through the syllabus and found that I couldn't find all the topics from the resources. Would you have an idea as to where to dig out the topics from ? I have the following resources:
    1. Haralambos
    2. IGNOU BA material
    3. IGNOU MA material
    4. Giddens
    5. Ritzer
    6. Handbook of Indian Sociology by Veena
    7. Modernization of Indian Tradition by Yogendra Singh
    8. Social Change in Modern India by MN Srinivas

    For instance there is the topic Works and Economic Life, I tried it in Haralambos, but I see Work and Leisure. Do we need to study the entire chapter ? I see a similar chapter in Giddens. Then there is Research Methods and Analysis. I see that IGNOU MA has entire 33 units for this. I am not sure if we need to go through the entire thing.

    How did you tide over this ?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Zoso,

      Your list is pretty comprehensive and should cover all the topics.

      Avoid reading too much. You may just glance through the last year papers to ascertain what you need not to read.

      Further, also read a dictionary of sciology (Penguin or Sage). It will clarify many areas.

      Delete
    2. Further, some topics might need thinking on your own feet. For example, Work and Economic Life is more of a contemporary topic and you may find related material through current affairs.

      You may add to it perspective of various thinkers. For example, Marx saw work as a fulfillment of human creativity, but economic structures distort it

      Delete
    3. Hello Sir,

      Thanks a lot for your response. As told by you I shall not refer to anything else (except the dictionary as suggested by you) outside what I have. And I see your point in correlating topics with thinkers. Let me make the dive then ! Hope I am able to complete the syllabus atleast once given the deluge of other material to cover for GS. And of course given that I am working as well.

      Delete
  34. Sir could you please suggest me the source of works and economic life portion?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Raunak,

      This is more of a contemporary topic and you may find related material through current affairs.

      You may add to it perspective of various thinkers. For example, Marx saw work as a fulfillment of human creativity, but economic structures distorts it.

      Delete
  35. Sir , I m going to take exam(2017). And started prep with ignou as primary source .but have purchased both grad or pg notes ... reading and understanding each concept followed by making notes by self .. is really there is no need of reading pg notes..??

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi,

      Reading more never goes waste. It will widen your thoughts. If you have time, you may selectively read the of notes.

      Delete
  36. congratulations sir ,
    i want to know what is a case study and how to use it while writing answers. if possible , please give one or tqo example for the same.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Case studies are kinda stories of a real event or development from which we can draw some lessons. For example, Amul story, ITC's E-Chaupal, Health reforms of southern states. Some these can be used in developmental issues.

      Delete
  37. Hello sir, thank you for sharing your experience. Apart from these can you suggest me 2-3 best books which helps me to understand application based and conceptual based theory of sociology.

    ReplyDelete
  38. Hello sir, thank you for sharing your experience. Apart from these can you suggest me 2-3 best books which helps me to understand application based and conceptual based theory of sociology.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Abhishek,

      The list I have suggested above is more than sufficient.

      Delete
  39. Hello Sir,

    I am posted in Bokaro where it is difficult to arrange the coaching notes. I am going to Delhi to buy all the books that you have mentioned.

    I heard that each topic of sociology is suggested to be covered from different books. Means multiple books are to be read but selectively, not completely!

    So, Could you pls help telling which book to refer for each topic of sociology ?
    If from any of the above mentioned book, only 2-3 topics are to be referred, then in that case, i ll try getting only xeroxes of those topics instead of buying the whole book completely!

    Pls help

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Shelly,

      It will be very difficult for me to write down each and every topic and its most appropriate source.

      Some of the above mentioned sources (NCERTs and IGNOU notes) are available online as well.

      Other mentioned books are available online as well.

      If you want to have photocopies, then get photocopy of notes of some student who has made all the notes.

      I believe that many booksellers in Delhi cater to this need of the aspirants and you can simply call them. Kumar Book Shop in Old Rajendra Nagar is one such shop.

      Delete
  40. Sir How much time will it be required to complete all syllabus with the optional that was not the subject of the graduation.
    2.Is it possible for a final year eng. student to complete all syllabus in the next 8 months before prelims considering there are so distractions of sessionals and semester exam?
    3.How many hours a day you were able to give for your studies?
    4.When did you start writing practice and which pen you chose to write mains(silly question but i was pondering over it so asked).
    5.Did you also asked questions to earlier toppers like I am doing now :) :)

    ReplyDelete
  41. Sir it would be great if you upload a sample notes on any topic of sociology. So that we can learn on how to make notes for this subject.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi,

      The sample notes are already there in this post.

      Delete
  42. Respected sir.
    1)Considering paper 2

    (i) Perspectives on the study of Indian society:
    Indology (GS. Ghurye).
    Structural functionalism (M N Srinivas).
    Marxist sociology (A R Desai).

    Will BK nagla be enough for this part???
    2) Shall dynamic topics like Uniform civil code, dalit repressions, be covered in detail for sociology???

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi,

      B K Nagla is not sufficient as its approach is not very clear. Some relevant IGNOU notes and some googling can be helpful.

      Regarding, the second question, yes you need not to go too deep.

      Delete
  43. Respected sir.
    1)Considering paper 2

    (i) Perspectives on the study of Indian society:
    Indology (GS. Ghurye).
    Structural functionalism (M N Srinivas).
    Marxist sociology (A R Desai).

    Will BK nagla be enough for this part???
    2) Shall dynamic topics like Uniform civil code, dalit repressions, be covered in detail for sociology???

    ReplyDelete
  44. Sir can you please name the topics of paper 2 which are dynamic and need search from different sources? And please suggest the reference material for those topics

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Swagatika,

      Apart from thinkers and topics related to British rule, almost all topics are dynamic.

      For dynamic topics, there cannot be books. Just read newspaper and current articles meticulously so that you are able to enrich your thoughts.

      Delete
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  46. Hello sir can you please share more notes of paper 2 or when we can expect your book......

    ReplyDelete
  47. Your above notes on 4 topic is a great help........pls bring more light to us.....your book or notes will be very helpful for us......as in a precise and to the point manner notes on 4 topics is really very useful.......more will be a boon in the remaining time for mains 2016.......thanks....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Abhishek,

      Currently I am a little occupied with training and will not be able to share more notes as I have not fully compiled them. However, the other available sources should serve you well.

      Best of luck for mains.

      Delete
  48. Sir, this qn has been asked in previously - is caste a hierarchy or stratification? I don't get the qn itself. I feel caste js sth imagined on basis of natural differences and those differences are hierarchised later... So i find the qn itself as wrong... Please throw some light if you get time... Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Just think of this statement in Dumont's idea of difference between hierarchy (which is purely a cultural concept) and stratification which is based on inequality.


      "I feel caste js sth imagined on basis of natural differences and those differences are hierarchised later..." Your this thinking is absolutely wrong. There are no natural differences which serve as basis of caste.

      Delete
  49. Sir, I didn't say real existing natural differences serve as a basis for caste. What I meant is that those differences are imagined, like people are made of different substances... Those differences are used to hierarchise people.

    ReplyDelete
  50. Will you be able to come out with your book in time for 2017 mains??? Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
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    ReplyDelete
  52. I guess I lack in understanding of the concept.. Is there a difference bw hierarchy and stratification? I thought hierarchy and difference are 2 ways in which stratification is done. At least that is the understanding I got reading dipankar gupta's interrogating caste 2nd chapter, though there has been no clear mention that it is so.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Utkarsh,

      The point is this - For example, At your home, there is a hierarchy (your grand father, father and you and so on), but this is not stratification. Because, despite a hierarchy there may not be any values attached (like father is 'superior' to son etc and in fact, your father may have more authority than your grandfather. When you attach values (of good, bad, high, low, superior etc), hierarchy transforms itself into a system of stratification. So, the key difference is notions and values attached. In general parlance, the two may mean the same thing, but in sociology, this understanding is used.


      Happy Diwali to you and your family and best of luck for your endeavors!!

      Delete
  53. Sir this is very very imp plz reply as soon as possible.
    Initially i liked socio very much and i have very conceptual clarity over subject bt the prob is i never wrote thinkers name and case studies in my ans.so i always got below avg marks.i used to think that wrting 5 thinkers in one ans wd make it mechanical.and moreover i dint get case studies anywhere in collective form.nw this year m thinking i will write 5 6 thinkers in each que and case studies..so my que is that wd u recommend writing so many thinkers in ans for eg que of slums prob ab isme mai thinker kaha se laun.and also about case study that i searched hell lot on net bt i din get any relevant cases.frm where can i get cases fr each topic..plz reply thanx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Gaurav,

      This is not a rule that you use the name of thinkers in every question. In fact, it is not a necessary thing. Your answers should be objective and to the point. In fact original thinking and analytical approach is more important. Have a free mind, have conceptual clarity. That's it.

      Best of luck for your Mains exam!!

      Delete
  54. Sir only 1 month left.plz try to ans my query thanx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Gaurav,

      I was occupied with training and other engagements, so couldn't reply earlier.

      It is not necessary that you cram the name of thinkers, just for the sake of putting some names.

      In fact, logical thinking, innovative approach is even more important. Have a clear and open mind, don't bother yourself too much with names of non-descript thinkers. Have your basics clear and write freely and you will be through. No one remembers too many names, just relax.

      Happy Diwali to you and your family. Enjoy this day to the fullest.

      Best of luck for Mains!!

      Delete
  55. Hello Sir, can you please tell me what are the relevant chapters to be read from Haralambos and Holborn (large blue one) ?
    And all the analysis and researchs done on the British society.... Is it of any relevance to UPSC??
    Thank you

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Khan Sahab,

      I am not able to recollect the relevant chapter in wake not having the books with me. Just match the topics of syllabus and contents of the books.

      Some research and landmark studies are relevant for their classic efforts. They also provide a general approach to sociological study of social institutions.

      Delete
  56. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  57. Hello sir..... Congratulations for ur success and thankQ for the information u provided... Until now I was in a dilemma what to read and from where to start..... Now I got a clarity.....
    Sir please help us when v r struck somewhere...

    ReplyDelete
  58. hello sir...congratulations on ur success!! sir i read some toppers ans booklet available on vision ias site... is it compulsory to mention thinkers name in every que... secondly should i use complex words for answering? is that wht makes ur ans appealing? n last m done with ncert and ignou ba material...how should i approach with haralambous thats kinda tough to read..plz help.... reply asap...thanku sir :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No it is not necessary to drop name of thinkers in every question. Secondly,no need to use complex vocabulary. Use simple, but relevant words. Thirdly, if you are finding the book difficult, read it multiple times.

      Delete
    2. thanku sir for replying....bt d thing is with haralambous that in a chapter there r so many names n their views... so should i just read them n move forward or i need to remember like wht everyone said....thats the clarity thats missing ...

      Delete
    3. Hi,

      Some names are really important to remember for their landmark studies. You will learn about these as you will read from different sources and different topics. It is a natural process which shall come to you as you will read extensively. Don't bother about that too much if you are working hard.

      Delete
  59. Hello sir.. Congratulations for your success. Are this the only notes that you used to revise for these particular topics or any other source along with these notes.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. For these particular topics, I used only these notes.

      Delete
  60. Sr can u please upload any of ur ans booklet or a pic of any of ur ans that u have written..it will give us idea wat crisp wrtng means.thanx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Right now I am a bit occupied to write such answers, but will do so soon.

      Delete
  61. Hi Nitin,

    For Paper 1 thinkers, which book should i refer? Will IGNOU notes be enough? As i feel IGNOU notes are good for basic understanding but these are not in competitive nature.

    Please suggest any one relevent book for thinkers

    Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  62. Hello nitin,
    First of all congratulations on your success in this coveted exam.

    Which test series is best for sociology??

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Shiva,

      I had not joined any test series, so, cannot comment on this.

      Delete
  63. Hi Nitin, I completed NCERT sociology. Now i have started studying IGNOU materials for BA.I am reading it in serial wise manner like starting from 1st sem to last sem.
    Is this the correct to read serial wise those notes ?
    Have i to filter topics from those notes or can i read the whole ignou notes ?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Shaman,

      The approach is fine. In the first reading, just read all the notes. Later on you can be selective.

      Delete
  64. Sir could you please tell me for environment Shankar IAS is sufficient.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think they are fine. Just to be on safer side, refer one other source as well.

      Delete
  65. Sir for economics Sanjeev Verma is sufficient with current affairs of Vision IAS?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have not read this particular book, so, cannot comment. But most of the standard books have similar contents. So should not be an issue.

      Delete
  66. Hello Sir
    I am from Faridabad and starting my prep for UPSC CSE in a week or two.I am also planning to prepare for HCS side by side. While gathering information abt these exams I got to know that HCS has 2 optionals. So I am planning that my optional for UPSC would be my first optional for HCS. And for the second optional I would have to rely upon my UPSC GS prep. I was thinking of taking Sociology in UPSC . This leaves me with Indian History or Geography for HCS. Now my question is will my UPSC GS prep suffice for Indian History or Geo optionals in HCS. I read that you had cleared HCS as well.How different is HCS prep from UPSC. Please guide. Also with the growing popularity of Sociology in UPSC what are the chances of it being butchered like Geography and PUB AD.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Himanshu,

      Regarding your second concern that whether a particular optional will fare well or not - no one can guarantee that. However, given the nature of the subject of Sociology, it can never be too technical and hence has less scope of complex questions. But yes, despite simple paper, UPSC may still decide to discriminate among optionals. Now to your first question, regarding History or Geography as Second optional - generally papers in HCS are not very tough and the process of this examination gives you ample time to prepare even a new optional subject from scratch. So, you may go ahead with it. You may like to see some previous years papers before you make a final choice. These papers are available online, but you might have to make some efforts in searching as exam is not held very regularly. HCS prep is not very different from UPSC. You may have to spend some time on Hindi and Haryana GK as they also have some weightage.

      Delete
  67. Hello Sir,
    I wanted to ask about note making.
    1. WHEN should it begin ? After reading all the books ?
    2. We make class notes as well and we have to read books too. So HOW should we make notes from everything at one place ?

    Since everyone tells us we have to make notes there is little explanation on how to make it.
    Like for Modernity in Paper 1. I have class notes and i have Ignou.
    So how should i go about it.
    Please share your advice Sir.
    Thank you :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Begin after you have taken one reading of a book.

      If you are doing it in soft copy, like I used to do, it can be a lot easier. Even otherwise, it is about organising your resources. Make space in your notebook for each topic, based on your own estimations for particular topics. Notes are different from full text of books or class rooms dictation. Try to make them as precise as possible. In that case you will see it is making sense. Initially it might take time, but later on, things shall be streamlined.

      Delete
  68. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete
  69. Hello nitin bhaiya.

    I want to know about paper 2 . Please let me know about sinduri mam notes ! One of my friend told me her notes are very good and compile from various sources. Is it correct ?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Gaurav,

      I haven't come across her notes. But if you have a primary understanding of the subject via the standard sources, I believe you will be in a position to judge the quality of any set of notes, book etc.

      Delete
  70. Sir for economy mrunal lectures+ncert would be sufficient?

    ReplyDelete
  71. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  72. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  73. Sir, congratulations on your success.
    As for doubt on a particular topic, I am a little unsure about the topic 'work and economic life'. Kindly let me know from where you prepared this particular topic.
    Thank you

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi,

      This topic has three aspects: History of organisation if work, Theory and contemporary practices.

      History is similar to as explained by Marx in his Historical Materialism. Apart from that, have a general reading of some other sources over Internet.

      Secondly, Theoritical basis of organization is on the lines of functional, conflict and interpretivist lines. Such perspectives are also scattered in various sources. So, cannot name a single one.

      Finally, regarding practical things, refer to newspapers, magazines, government schemes etc which affect organization of work and economic life.

      Go through previous years questions and they will guide you a lot.

      Delete
    2. Thank for your response. Kindly upload your notes on this topic, if feasible.

      Delete
  74. Sir Mrunal +ncert would be sufficient for economy?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Rajat,

      I think they should. Apart from that read newspaper meticulously.

      Delete
    2. Thank You

      Delete
  75. Hi Sir,

    First of all congratulations for your success & thanks for sharing some of your notes. I have just gone through your notes which you have shared here & they all are so well concise & to the point that it has helped me to understand the topic really well. My request to you is if its possible please share the entire 400 pages (approx) notes as you have mentioned in your Jagran Josh video. It will be an immense help for all of us to prepare Sociology. Thanks again for helping us. All the best :)

    Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Diptendu,

      I am planning to come out with a book of those notes. If all goes well in a few months the book shall be out.

      Niin

      Delete
    2. Hi Sir,

      WoW.. That is really a great news. That book will really be the Pandora Box for the aspiring UPSC candidates with sociology optional like me. I have just one request to you sir that please try to publish it within March'2017 so that we get time to utilise the book totally for 2017 exam. Please.

      Thanks a lot for this amazing news.

      Delete
  76. Sir we have prelims in a few months so please try it soon if possible so that we can focus on prelims only for last 2 2.5 months.... I mean if possible it can come by february and we can complete it in march. Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  77. Hi Nitin,
    Congratulations on your success in Civil Services Examination.

    This is with regards to queries in Sociology optional.

    1. Did you join any test series? If yes then which one do you recommend ?
    2. Did you use thinkers name (apart from the ones given in the syllabus) while writing the answers?
    3. What do you think worked in your favour for getting high marks in Sociology?

    It will be great if you can help me with these. I want to improve on Sociology and take a leaf out of your book.

    Thanks!
    --Harshit Saini

    PS - I wrote CSE Mains this year. Results awaited.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi,

      Please go through comments on this blog, I have already answered each of these.

      Delete
  78. Sir i have problem in topic like 1...reform movement,social movement industrialization and urbanization 2......pressure group factors of planned change....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Tarun,

      These are available in IGNOU bachelor's course material. You have to just search it.

      Delete
  79. And sir when did u publish your book for sociology for both papers

    ReplyDelete
  80. Sir,
    Is it essential to take coaching for sociology optional or one can do well by self study only? Which coaching class you think would be good for the same.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Nidhi,

      Coaching is not necessary as it is not very technical subject and you can easily relate yourself with everything you will read in this subject. I cannot suggest any coaching as I am not aware about the teachers.

      Delete
  81. Sir,
    Can u. Plz tell me which chapters to read from IGNOU BA material...??

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi

      It has been long time since I appeared in last Mains exam. Kindly refer the syllabus and match the topics. It's not very difficult to do that.

      Delete
  82. hello sir,
    Shyam again.
    i am really confuse between geography & philosophy…as an optional.
    please suggest me what are the basic criteria/logic should consider while choosing an optional.
    what are the basic parameters … should be in mind while choosing an optional.
    thanks.Shyam.
    looking forward to your reply.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Shyam,

      Your interest and the ease of the availability of the material should be the prime factors behind your decision to chose an optional. Dont go by rumours.

      Delete
  83. both the subject i have interest, & both of them have good material in market .ok. let me go through the syllebus + previous years qs papers again...& do some pre reading.. then decide.thanks. & sorry for late reply.
    please take care. thanks. Shyam

    ReplyDelete
  84. Thanks a lot !
    Sir can you upload some of your Socio -2 answers? Will get a clear idea about how to write.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Saket,

      I am sorry I won't be able to upload such answers as I don't have ready made answers. If I find time in future, I will do that. Just make your answers to the point and link theory with contemporary illustrations.

      Nitin

      Delete
  85. Hello Sir, can you please upload your paper 2 answers / give pointers for the same, specially when the question asked for sociological analysis.
    also, can you throw some light on how to deal with wayward questions such as the one regarding Phule as an agrarian radical, or evolution of press in the 2015 sociology paper-2
    Also, can we know when your book will be out?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
    2. Hi Zeba

      I am sorry I won't be able to upload such answers as I don't have ready made answers. If I find time in future, I will do that. Just make your answers to the point and link theory with contemporary illustrations. Dont be scared by the word Sociological Analysis, you may attempt the Question with whatever information you have.

      Some questions like on Phule are difficult to answer as they are not directly mentioned in any of the usual books that we read. However, if you are aware about the overall philosophy and works of Phule you can hazard a guess to his approach to agriculture as well and hence can attempt the question. But if such a question is optional, better leave it.

      My book is likely to come in June this year.

      Thanks and best of luck,
      Nitin

      Delete
  86. Hi...A very very Happy holi to you..& your family..
    thanks.
    Shyam

    ReplyDelete
  87. hello nitin sir
    can u please tell me the difference between Karl Marx's dialectical materialism and historical materialism.In your notes you have referred it as one and the same but in some books it is given differently.
    Sir, also can u also suggest me a good source to study sociology of karl Marx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Shubham,

      Yes both are one and same. Substantially both are same. There may be differences, if you go too deep into semantics.

      Regarding a book on Karl Marx, I will not be help. But if you want to know more about his theory from exam point of view, then I may suggest something.

      Delete
    2. yes sir i want to study theory of marx only from exam point of view. So pls suggest some sources

      Delete
    3. Read chapters of any of the books like - Raymond Aron, Haralambos an Holborn, Ritzer etc. They are pretty standard books and are available in most of the libraries if you don't want to buy one.

      Delete
  88. hello sir,
    can u please suggest some source for studying verstehen and social action (max weber) from exam point of view?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Shubham,

      All standard books cover these two topics to a reasonable extent which is required for the UPSC preparation. Pick any of these: Raymond Aron, Harlambos, Ritzer etc. These topics are also available on internet as well.

      Thanks

      Delete
  89. Sir, as I'm from a technical background, I want to go for sociology optional coaching. Can you please suggest me a good coaching institute in chandigarh for the same? I read in your blog that you had taken coaching from a chandigarh based institute. Please help.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi,

      Yes I had taken coaching from Chandigarh, but I am not very much aware about the various institutions based out of Delhi or other cities. You should talk to someone who has taken coaching there. Some online discussion forums can be helpful in this regard.

      Thanks

      Delete
    2. Well, as your sociology book is hitting the market, I don't think I'm going to need any sociology coaching anymore. :D

      Regards

      Delete
  90. Nitin sir, pliz share your optional notes ....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Paulamawi

      I have compiled the notes in form of a book and the book is likely to hit the market in June this year in two months with the likely title "ESSENTIAL SOCIOLOGY" from Lexis Nexis Publications.

      Thanks

      Delete
  91. This is a great news Nitin Sir. Cant wait for it :)

    ReplyDelete
  92. Sir I am seriously wondering that how did you manage to get time & patience to make that huge amount of notes for sociology & other subjects by typing & arranging it manually. Please let us know your secret of time management in such a way. Please. Thanks in advance. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Diptendu,

      Just try not to spend time in other distractions like social media and give your full attention to the studies alone. Your time will be managed automatically. Introspect on regular basis and make course corrections time and again.

      Delete
    2. Thanks for the insight Sir :)

      Delete
  93. Sir, Please provide a review of the sociology coaching you took from chandigarh? I want to join sociology coaching in Chandigarh. Did you take coaching from Abhimanu? Which faculty is good there?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Robin

      It is decent one if you don't have too many options.

      Please make it sure it is taught by Mr Pravin Bansal only.

      Delete